Kingdom Hearts 3 is finally here!
At last! The long awaited Kingdom Hearts 3 has arrived! With a lot of intermission story to build up for the final installment of the series, fans are eager to get their hands on it. I pre-ordered the game and played the first three worlds within the story to get a good feel for it. The worlds I visited were Mount Olympus (from Hercules), Kingdom of Corona (from Tangled), and Twilight Town. I have thoroughly enjoyed what I have played so far. I do have some issues with things, but we will get to that. Minor spoilers ahead; I’m not that far in the game, so very minor.
Kingdom Hearts 3 starts where Kingdom Hearts: Dream Drop Distance left off. Sora, Donald, and Goofy are in Yen Sid’s mysterious tower, and Sora has lost most of his powers due to the comatose state he was in and giving into the darkness. Sora must regain his powers and gain the power of Awakening. Sora, Donald, and Goofy head for Olympus to ask for Hercules advice on how to regain Sora’s powers.
As they arrive in Mount Olympus, they find out that Hades has aligned the planets and has released the Titans to attack the Gods. Hercules is in Thebes protecting the townsfolk. Sora, Donald, and Goofy go around Thebes to rescue the townsfolk from the Heartless and the destruction. They run into Pete and Maleficent along the way. Pete lets it slip they’re looking for a black box. We can assume that this black box is the box that was given to one of the original Keyblade masters. It is said that he does not open the box, and is not told its contents though he knows what’s inside.
Sora defeats the titans in an awesome battle on top of Mount Olympus. Zeus is freed, and Hades is banished back to the Underworld. Hercules says he doesn’t know how to help Sora regain his powers but that he regained his strength when he used his whole heart to rescue Meg. Sora returns to Yen Sid empty handed.
While this is happening, Mickey and Riku are searching through the Realm of Darkness for Aqua. They encounter a wave of Heartless that swallows Riku whole. He begins to drown in the darkness, then he hears a voice that asks him if he would like his help. Mickey awakens Riku, and when he awakens, he finds his Keyblade has been broken in half. He leaves the Keyblade in the sand in the Realm of Darkness. Mickey and Riku arrive back at Yen Sid’s just as Sora and the others arrive.
Yen Sid advises Riku and Mickey to go find Merlin who is helping Lea and Kairi train to become Keyblade Masters, stating that Merlin can help them fix their Keyblades. Sora decides that he is going to help Roxas find his own body, as he has two hearts in his, and one belongs to Roxas. The gang head to Twilight Town to speak to Hayner, Pence, and Olette.
The scene changes and we see Kairi writing a letter to Sora about her adventures with Merlin and Lea in training. Lea then brings her some ice cream, and they talk about her letter. Lea stops and stares at Kairi for a second, and her face changes to Xion. Lea apologizes and leaves promptly.
The gang arrive in Twilight Town, and no one remembers Roxas. They seem to know him but not know him at the same time. They question the town and realize that no one else remembers him either. The gang heads to the old mansion, and Sora stares into the window of Namine’s old room. He phases into Roxas for a second and phases back into Sora. The gang heads into the mansion, and Pence tries to open the door to the virtual reality that is the other Twilight Town; Pence is locked out. Pence works with a former member of Organization XIII to open the portal. After this, the player has more reign of where to go and what to do. I chose to go to the Kingdom of Corona to play with Rapunzel and Flynn Ryder. Players can also go to The Toy Box, as well.
Now to the nitty gritty of it. Let’s start with the dislike so far and then we will get to the likes. First up, Haley Joel Osment sounds waaayyy older than the age Sora seems to be. He also sounds like that he’s trying to have a younger voice. Haley Joel Osment already has a kind of higher-pitched voice for a man, so the push to make Sora seem younger feels very forced. Don’t get me wrong, I am all about having the same voice actors throughout a series, but his voice seems out of place among the other characters.
The loading screens are weird. They look like some of the characters are posting on a platform like Twitter or Facebook. This feels like they’re trying to get a younger generation in, but no kid is going to actually look at the loading screens. And there’s no way to actually post within the game, so why have that type of loading screen?
The game introduces wall-running, which a really cool mechanic and makes going around the larger worlds much easier. However, fans of Dragon Age Inquisition will understand me when I say they just appear where you aren’t looking (this happens when you get off your mount in DAI and suddenly there are all your party members; they just appear). Donald and Goofy do the same thing. If you wall-run while looking back, you can see them at the bottom of the wall. When you turn around, however, they just appear. I understand not wanting to animate them wall-running as well, but the sudden appearances feel very messy.
There are a lot of things I really like about this game. The dodge system is much better. The select area mechanic makes fast traveling within the same world just so much easier. The Keyblade forms are really cool (overpowered, but still very cool), and the attractions, and Lucky Emblems (Please, those are Hidden Mickeys!) are just an awesome tip-of-the-hat to the Disney parks.
The game, however, feels rushed (you never would have thought this after they waited forever to release it). There are points when the animation looks really good. For example, when you are in Mount Olympus, Xigbar shows up and points his glove at Sora. The animation on his glove is incredible, but the area around it looks dulled down. There are also points where the animation doesn’t match the audio. Someone will move their mouth, but it’s like gibberish compared to the audio. Some areas of the game feel like there was a lot of hard work put into it, but they could have waited a bit longer for that shine and polish fans were expecting.
Like I said there are a lot of things I really like about this game! There’s a team effort ability for support characters like Hercules that lets you perform a team attack at the start of every fight (this ability costs 50 AP). A lot of the attractions are really fun, with Space Ranger Spin and The Mad Tea Cups being my favorite. Making food with Remy from Ratatouille is a fun mini game, and the food gives you bonuses to your stats. The gummiship system is now more explorable and is like an entire other world. The game is really fun and has a lot of awesome new features. Part of the polish that is needed for new games now-a-days was just missing–and it was indeed missed.
I HIGHLY recommend this game. Even if you have never played a Kingdom Hearts game before, it’s still fun. Just try not to let the super long story drag you in. The most important question that I now present is, why does Donald have zippers on his hat? With this being the “last” Kingdom Hearts game. The world may never know.
Check out our previous Kingdom Hearts coverage at the links below: